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Anatomy of a Book Club: Up Close with KIRB Appeal Book Club Members #3

Posted on in Book, OverDrive/Libby.

Delois Walters: Library Assistant, Book Club Moderator

In the upcoming weeks, I’ll introduce members of KIRB Appeal, a multi-generational, diverse book club that meets at the Bob Kirby Branch Library. 


Our featured reader this time is Kathie Howell.

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (Available through OverDrive/Libby & RBdigital)

DW: Kathie, when I asked you for a book recommendation, your immediate response was Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. Why this particular book?

KH: I really liked this book because it was told through the eyes of a child–reminiscent of the book, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and the movie, Stand by Me. All three of these stories take place in what we presume were simpler times, but we discover that this world has never really had simpler times.

DW: When it was our KIRB Appeal book club selection, you were hesitant to read it. What about the story caused you to pause?

Kathie Howell, Retired Certified Nurse First Assistant

KH: The story began with the mysterious death of a child. My reaction in the past to any book with this storyline was to immediately put down the book for good–not a subject I want to ponder or read details about. However, the author, presented this fact in a way that did not tend to sensationalize the tragedy; it was mentioned as a tragic and unexpected occurrence that the small town was in the midst of grieving over.

DW: I loved this book as well, Kathie, the storylines were interwoven seamlessly…

KW: …and I was totally invested in every character! I can’t wait to read more of his books.

DW: Ordinary Grace won the Edgar Award for Best Novel, the most prestigious award for mystery writers. It was named for the literary genius, Edgar Allan Poe, which brought us to an interesting fact about you. Do you want to share that little tidbit?

KH: A family member did some research and found out that Edgar Allan Poe is a distant relative. His writing was so dark—I can’t decide if it’s something I want to brag about!

DW: Your secret is safe with me! We’ll move on to a part of your family tree that you can definitely be proud of—aren’t you are one of three generations of nurses?

KW: I am, my mother was a nurse for 50 years, I was a CRNFA (Certified Nurse First Assistant) to cardiac surgeons for most of my 49-year career, and currently, my daughter is a nurse.

DW: Right now, nurses are playing a critical role in the care of patients with COVID-19. What are your thoughts on that?

KH: I’ve always admired intensive care nurses; they’re highly skilled, able to adapt from moment to moment, and deal with stress daily. Now, there’s the added stress of worrying about spreading the virus to family members. I salute all of those in the medical profession and first responders as well.

DW: What’s the first thing you are going to do when social-distancing ends?

KH: I am going to have a get together with my three adult children and 10 grandchildren, whom I adore!

Ordinary Grace is available to download through the WCPL digital catalog as an eBook or an audiobook through OverDrive/Libby & RBdigital.